Friday, 13 November 2009

Wannabe a Writer?

I've just finished reading Wannabe a Writer? by Jane Wenham-Jones. I am so glad i bought it, it has to be the best how to book I've read. It's written really well in a easy to understand way. Jane also makes it funny she has a great writing voice. It has lots of advice from authors, agents, publishers and journalists.I'll definitely be taking all the valuable advice. I also recommend it to all you wannabe writers out there it's definitely worth the price and more.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Long time no see

It's been over five months since i wrote on here i guess, and about that long since i worked on my book. I don't know why but i felt like i needed time away from writing. I'm going to try and get back into it asap as it would be a shame to waste my effort's
So what have i been doing instead, well I've started learning to drive. I've done about twenty odd lesson's so far and I'm slowly picking it up.

I've also been on a few long weekend breaks first to Blackpool and then the lake district. The picture above was taken at south lakes animal 

park which i really enjoyed it's nice to get away.

I've also taken up baking cupcake's and biscuit's recently, not very successfully at the moment though. I'm having trouble with the sugar paste icing.

I've been watching the x factor too, which is quite good this year. I have six favourite's Olly, Jamie, Lucie, Stacey, Danyl, and Miss Frank. I can't stand the numpty twins Johnathan and Edward what a pair of turds they are. I can't believe their performance of Britney Spear's oops i did it again, it was cringe worthy yet they still got through.

I'd also like to mention the sad passing of Boyzone's Stephen Gately. It was a great shock to hear he'd passed away. Stephen was my school girl crush and it's weird to think he's died at such a young age. My thoughts are with his family at this time.

Hopefully I'll be keeping you all posted more frequently now
Melissa xx

Monday, 19 October 2009

I'm back


Not been on here for a while. Just a quick note to ask if any of you are on Facebook could you please join my group Women's fiction.

I'll write more when i get my head sorted xxxx

Friday, 15 May 2009

Paper edit

Well I've now finished editing the rest of Megan's thirty on paper. So it's time to transfer onto the computer.
I have a feeling it's going to take ages and be a big job. I'm so looking forward to the day it's finished and i can start contacting agents. I'm dying to get going on the next book i have an idea and title and everything. I actually have ideas for another six books if only i could work faster.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Oh my God

I've noticed while I've been editing Megan's thirty on paper that i tend to write oh my god or oh god a lot. I'm going to have to think of something similar to say or rename the book Oh my god lol.

I've got quite a bit of editing done on paper now, thirty chapters. I've got about another 15-20 chapters to do then i need to get it typed up on the puter and see where i go from there.

No rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Back to it

Well after a week off writing due to my lovely fiancee being off work on his holiday's it's back to it i go. I've got a lot of editing to do and I'm in a procrastinating mood not good. Hopefully I'll get somewhere this week fingers crossed.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Mid book crisis

After my wobble yesterday I'm now back on track with Megan's thirty panic over. It's just such hard work and it gets the better of me sometimes. I'm a very impatient person so i wish my book was written like yesterday.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Should I just give up?

Am i just kidding myself thinking that i can ever write a book? I'm crap at grammar, punctuation and now tense :(

I'm feeling tense

I'm confused more so than usual. I'm trying to write Megan's thirty in first person present tense but i have no idea if I'm writing present tense, past tense or both.
Here's an example excuse the language

e.g The first place Olivia took me to was a complete shit hole. (Past/present?)

Now the next sentence goes:

it was worse than my seventies flat and that was saying something. (Past/Present?)

now should this sentence be as follows if I'm writing in present:

it looks worse than my seventies flat and that's saying something.

If it is then does it go with the first sentence as i don't think it does and i have no idea how to change it I'm confused Help!!

Monday, 20 April 2009


Well I've been busy-ish over the last couple of weeks writing wise. I've just finished reading See Jane date which is another book about how to write chick lit. I found this book really useful. It has tips by published writers and is written by a published author and editor. I'd recommend it to any women fiction writers.

The next book on my list is A novel in a year. I've only just started it so I'll let you know what i think of that one.

I've just printed out my whole novel Megan's thirty in order to go through it highlighting and post-it noting it for spelling mistakes, grammar, repetition, cliches and deleting anything that doesn't feel right like characters or parts of the plot. To be honest I'm dreading it, when i saw how thick it was i got a big shock. I still have to write the prologue and epilogue yet, as well as possibly a new chapter one. It really is the never ending story.

Friday, 3 April 2009

My whole life is a cliché

Recently on Authonomy I asked the question: I've been accused of having cliches in Megan's Thirty or even being cheesy. Here are some examples sweeping me off my feet , dragged through a hedge backwards. I guess you could call them sayings that have been used a lot in other books.
What I'm wondering is do people avoid these cliches at all costs, include some and not others or make their own up
Any ideas?
Some answers I received were:

"Avoid them. At all costs. Like the plague."

"Readers, but more specifically agents and editors, love a writer that can take a cliche and make it peculiarly his. The converse is also true."

"Think up something original - it can be an entertaining way to spend a few hours - or turn the something into a metaphor instead (but, again, an original one).

It's what makes writing difficult but fun."

"depends what your genre is and whether you are allowed to subvert them for comedy or linguistic purposes:

eg 'sweeping me off my feet but having the consideration to set me gently back down lest I bruised myself on the concrete' ...

'dragged through a hedge backwards, without recourse to a TV Makeover show crew lurking on the other side'.

'sweeping me off the corns of my feet' would be an example of linguistic tweaking."

Great advice, only trouble is my life is a cliché. I use these sayings everyday of my life but it seems in writing, people don't like things like "sweep me off my feet" So I have to create some of my own I've thought of one that I'll put in Megan's thirty to replace one that's been used a lot. But i have a lot of thinking to do. Who knew writing a book was so complicated?

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Grammar is the bane of my writing/life. I'm absolutely rubbish at it and it's so frustrating. People say they find it hard to read my book because the correct grammar isn't being used. I feel it's really holding me back and slowing me down. I've bought a couple of books on the subject some of it i understand and the rest might as well be in Japanese i just don't get it. First i didn't have enough commas then i had too many arrrrgggghhhh. I'd like to get some software for the computer but i can't afford it. I feel like I'm failing my story i wish i could understand.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


I actually managed to do a bit of editing today and get a few more chapters typed up and put on authonomy. Hopefully I'll be in the mood to do some more tomorrow. I need to crack on with it. I still have typos and grammar mistakes no matter how hard I try. I wish there was a computer chip they could store in my head that would tell me where to put commas, colons etc. There's just not enough time in the day to do everything I want. I want to get the mass editing done, read my grammar/punctuation books, and read my fiction books I have 20 that I want to read stuck on my bookshelf. If only I could read and write faster.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Writing my book is something I really enjoy. The only problem is due to my depression sometimes I just can't be bothered. I have to confess I haven't written anything for Megan's thirty for a couple of weeks. I really want to crack on and get the book finished but I just struggle. The medication I'm on causes me to be very lethargic which means I'm constantly battling with that and my need to write. I find it so frustrating and wish sometimes I could just switch it off. But I can't really use this as an excuse. Not when so many authors that have gone before me who had allegedly had depression have done so well. A few names of authors/writers who are supposed to have had depression are Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, John Keats, Mary Shelley, and Mark Twain. Now that's quite a list of talented writers I wish I knew their secret of writing well with depression. Apparently a lot of us artistic types have depression it's not just us writers either. Artists, actors, singers, seem to have depression drawn to them. As I have said my depression encouraged me to write I wonder if this has been the case for other authors. Did depression cause them to write or did they get depression after becoming an author?

I assure you all that even though Megan's thirty does include depression it is not a depressing story. It's a tale of over coming depression against the odds.
So I should really get over this lazyitis and get back to it shouldn't I?

Monday, 16 March 2009

Writing aids

No Matter how good you are at writing you always need a little help. I have a few things that aid my writing the first being books. At the moment I'm currently reading Will write for shoes and English grammar workbook for dummies. I've also bought but not got round to reading yet Grammatically correct, See Jane write, A novel in a year, and Wannabe a writer?.
The second thing that aids my writing is the Internet. There are so many useful sites to help writers.,10233,532364_536842,00.html

Other things I find useful are character charts. I find writing in detail about a character helps to develop them in your book.
I also carry round a note book to jot down any ideas or thoughts i have that i could include in my book or a future book. As i said it's amazing what you can hear when your out and about in shops etc. You can't always remember everything so jotting them down as you think of them or hear them is a great help.

I know I keep banging on about it but the biggest aid I've had so far is being a part of authonomy. All the authors on there are so kind and helpful you really can learn a lot about writing as well as getting to read lots of great books. Check it out on my list of links.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


I've so far written a draft copy of Megan's thirty which is over 54,000 words. Now it's a case of going back and editing the whole thing which I'm not a big fan of. Every time I think I have finished editing a chapter I find something else i can change. My book is on a site called autonomy People are really helpful on there with suggestions and advice it's just there's always another suggestion which i find myself agreeing with which mean's I'm no closer to finishing. What I'm struggling with at the moment is grammar, repeating myself, and people aren't too keen with my first chapter. They say once they get through the first chapter that they really get into the story and enjoy it, so it looks like I'll have to totally rework it.
Despite of this I've had a lot of positive comments about Megan's thirty on authonomy here are a few of them:

"The chapter reads well and I get into Megan's head straightaway, which makes me want to care for her and find out what is happening. Your story has a beating heart and a good pace. I like the idea of the 30 things".

"Hello Melissa,

You've been on my watchlist for a long time and I've only got around to reading, sorry. I like your story, and would buy it, if published. I'm no good at criticism so I won't do it but I think backing a book says a lot about how a reader feels about a story.
Good Luck!"

"Hi Melissa

You are one witty writer. Your writing has a lot of energy, Megan comes across as kind of a stream of consciousness, full of ideas and thoughts."
Kerry Fisher

"I can see from others comments that you've had a lot of rewrites. And I have to say that whatever you did worked. I was immediately there where I think you intended me to be and I really started to care about your MC. I think that the hardest thing to do is to balance the present and past working in your story. I have struggled with the very same thing in my tale. But you my friend have handled it beautifully.


Rachel May

I'D recommend Authonomy as it can only help to improve a new writers chance of ever being published. Just don't expect to write your first book quickly.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

What inspires me to write

I've always enjoyed writing stories ever since primary school when i wrote my first story about myself and Kylie Minogue going to the zoo. Every night before I would go to sleep I'd make a story up in my head; when i was younger it would be about me becoming a pop star but now it's more me becoming a millionaire, getting married, and having kids. My imagination has always been my best quality.

I have a lot of ideas of books I'd love to write I get inspiration from all over the place. Authors that inspire me are Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Ceceilia Ahern, and Lauren Weisberger amongst others. Marian Keyes has to be my favourite I love the way she can mix comedy with real life issues like depression. The way she builds her characters is amazing. The Walsh family are included in many of her books like Anybody out there and Watermelon. All of the Walsh characters are well developed, you can really relate to them. Marian inspires me to make my characters as good as hers. She truly is a genius.

The world itself is a big inspiration. Friends characters I believe can always be found in any book. In Megan's thirty I use aspects of my friends and family but only the funny parts of their character or what I find funny anyway.
I sometimes eaves drop on peoples conversations you can hear some interesting stories on buses, in cafes, at the theatre and especially at the shops. Whilst in Matalan the other day I heard a story of a manager throwing a coat hanger at one of his employees head. Real life stuff can really make fiction funnier.

Anything can inspire me to write like TV, films, magazines,and other books. As for what inspired me to start writing a book at the age of twenty seven well I've had depression and anxiety for a few years now and writing is like an outlet for me. Due to my illness I can't work so it gives me something to focus on. It's something that gives me a sense of achievement. In a way I have depression to thank for my new found career choice. If I never had depression I may never have worked out what I wanted to be. Depression is what inspired me to be a writer, strange but true.

Friday, 13 March 2009

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Thursday, 12 March 2009

Megan's thirty

The front cover of Megan's thirty was photographed and supplied by Jenni Grimshaw. Thanks hun xx

OK this is my very first blog and I have no idea what I'm doing so please bare with me. I'll be using this blog mainly to talk about my book Megan's thirty but I'll also comment on current events as and when I feel like it.

I started writing my first book Megan's thirty in September 2008. The genre I write in is Chick Lit. Here is a short description of what the book is about:

Desperately missing Hayden and in a deep depression Megan embarks on the journey of her life but will thirty things lead her back to happiness.

What more could a girl with a handsome fiancee and a planned Christmas trip to New York ask for. Twenty eight year old teaching assistant Megan Parker is the happiest girl alive that is until a devastating tragedy strikes that takes her life down a deep spiralling path of depression. Is there any way back to happiness for Megan. With the help of her friends can Megan’s list of thirty things really change her life? One year, thirty things Megan’s thirty.

You can read my book and make comments at

Authonomy is a website I stumbled across a month or two ago. It's somewhere for aspiring authors to post their books and have them reviewed by other authors who can offer you advice and tips to help you improve your book. The site is run by Harper Collins and they give people a chance to get noticed through a chart system. If your book gets noticed by HC you could get added to the editors desk. Where the people at HC will take a look at your book and comment. There's even a chance you may get published with them. This has happened to three lucky people on the site recently.

I shall write more about Megan's thirty when my brain is working properly. xx